Legislative drafting

How Dolly Cruikshank Changed the Writing Culture of a Law Firm (2002)

Tim has applied his creative writing experience to his position as a precedents manager. He describes how his use of humour and fictional characters in his regular newsletters have made the firm's writing culture less pompous and more conscious of good writing.

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2003-04-30

Triangle Triage Technique: Polishing the Document (2002)

Professor Lantzy presented a workshop in the Triage Technique for perfecting legal documents. This technique breaks down the process of document development into separate, ordered stages. She used legal materials to illustrate common problems and explain how this approach helps the writer to solve them.

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2003-04-02

A Dainty Dish to Set before the King: Plain Language and Legislation (2002)

One of the seminal points in the development of plain statutory language is the change from the imperative “shall” to “must.” Although apparently small, this has proved to be a key marker of the adoption of plain language legislation.

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2003-04-02

Getting the Message Across in Languages Other than English: The Canadian example (2002)

This session is of special interest to plain language professionals who are increasingly asked about issues of clarity in translation. Do the syntax and vocabulary of romance languages require techniques different from those used in English to achieve clarity? What are the differences, and what principles hold true across languages?

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2003-03-24

Enacting legislation? How about communicating it too? (2002)

Traditionally, a statute is a message of the sovereign to the people (at least in Canada!). The accent is not on communicating the information it contains. Philippe described a prototype project of Justice Canada to develop a more accessible act. If this prototype is approved by Parliament, all federal legislation in Canada would be drafted using some or all of the features developed for the Employment Insurance Act.

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2003-03-24

Plain Language in Legislative Drafting: An Achievable Objective or a Laudable Ideal? (2002)

In a panel discussion chaired by Joseph Kimble, Brian Hunt and Peter Butt argued the assumptions behind the use of plain legal language. Brian posed the questions: Is there really a demand for plain language legislation? Would plain language legislation function as intended? Peter presented evidence from recent research supporting the claim that plain language benefits legal documents and statutes.

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2003-03-14

The Assumptions Behind Plain Legal Language (2002)

Some thoughts for the PLAIN conference, Toronto 2002

In a panel discussion chaired by Joseph Kimble, Brian Hunt and Peter Butt argued the assumptions behind the use of plain legal language. Brian posed the questions: Is there really a demand for plain language legislation? Would plain language legislation function as intended? Peter presented evidence from recent research supporting the claim that plain language benefits legal documents and statutes.

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2003-03-14

Plain Language in Sweden: a Progress Report (2002)

Bengt and Maria talked about the successful European Law Conference held during Sweden's presidency of the Union and their attempts to move the European Union away from a traditional, bureaucratic way of writing legislation. They also described a new tool developed by a linguist to evaluate the comprehensibility of communications from the Swedish public authorities. They presented the results of that evaluation and of other projects.

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2003-02-25
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